Tulsa, OK (Dec. 18th) - Danick Gauthier recorded the overtime winner to help lift Wichita (7-17-0-1) past Tulsa (10-10-2-1) on Friday night by the final of 3-2 at the BOK Center. The Thunder led by a pair with three minutes remaining before the Oilers mounted a comeback to force the extra session. The win helps snap a seven-game losing skid and is the first road victory for Wichita since Opening Night against Tulsa on October 16th. The Thunder takes the lead in the StoneWolf Casino Cup Series, now up 3-2-0-0.
Andy Huff had a pair of goals while Landon Oslanski added two helpers.
Both teams were solid defensively through the first 10 minutes of the contest. A combined six shots were fired on the netminders before Wichita got on the board with less than five minutes to go in the opening frame. Huff found a rebound off a centering
pass from Kenton Miller and beat Kevin Carr to the glove side to make it 1-0.
Huff added his second tally of the night early in the second on the power play. Wichita won a face-off, moved it across to Landon Oslanksi and his shot was tipped in by Huff at 2:12 and a 2-0 advantage. Joey Sides almost upped the lead to three with a rebound opportunity, but Carr snagged it with the glove. The Thunder took a 2-0 advantage into the second intermission.
In the third, Tulsa pulled even with two markers with less than three minutes remaining. Brian Nugent cut the lead to one at 17:05 with a one-timer from the left circle. The Oilers pulled their goaltender and had an offensive zone face-off that led to the game-tying goal at 19:22 from Axel Blomqvist. The final horn sounded and overtime was needed.
Gauthier scored the game-winner when he picked up a loose puck on the left boards, worked to the middle of the ice and fired a wrist shot that beat Carr at 1:21 of the extra period for the 3-2 victory.
Wichita won its first game of the season in an overtime and improved to 3-1 with games that went past regulation. Huff recorded his fifth and sixth tallies of the year. Miller and Springer also added helpers in the contest. Shantz earns his fifth win of the season, stopping 21 of 23 shots. Carr takes the overtime loss, stopping 21 of 24 shots he faced.
Wichita went 1-for-2 on the power play. Tulsa went 0-for-2 on the man advantage.
The Thunder finishes their seven-game road trip with another meeting tomorrow night against the Oilers at 7:05 p.m.
Individual tickets are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at the INTRUST Arena Box office, by calling 855-755-SEAT or go online at www.selectaseat.com.
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About the ECHL
The ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states and has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 28 teams in 20 states and one Canadian province for its 27th season in 2014-15. There have been 541 players who have started their career in the ECHL have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 29 who made their NHL debuts in the 2013-14 season. The ECHL had affiliations with 26 of the 30 NHL teams in 2013-14, marking the 17th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.